Gage is proudly owned by Beth O'Connor and Jim Carretta. Here is Gage's story as related by his person, Beth O'Connor in 1999.
Gage is our 4 year old male Leonberger who came into our lives and changed it forever! Gage's tempermant is truly outstanding, and one that all Leonbergers strive for. Gage has been a therapy dog visiting senior homes, charming everyone who meets him. Gage is also a conformation champion, and currently has earned one leg towards his CD. In agility he has earned all his NADAC novice titles, which includes his jumpers, gamblers and standard titles. He is the only male Leonberger in the country who has earned all of his novice NADAC titles! He is currently competing in open and has already earned qualifying legs in both standard and jumpers. He has also earned a qualifying leg in at the novice level for USDAA.
Gage and my husband Jim began agility training almost 3 years ago. We have to thank Bonnie and Norm Goodfriend for getting us hooked on agility. Watching them run Aggie, Avery and Frieda Mae in agility was intoxicating, and it never occurred to us that we would be starting something that would be such a long journey. It just seemed normal to compete with a Leo in agility. So, pardon the pun, but we "jumped" in with both feet. Jim and Gage have worked long and hard to get to where they are. It was a year and a half before they began doing fun matches and several more months to become comfortable in the ring. When they first started competing, Gage had severe brain freezes, stopping at the top of the A-Frame to take in the sights, or often leaving the ring to go find "mom" or just visit with the nice people sitting by the side of the ring. Cute behavior, always get a laugh, but usually not a qualifying leg. Never the less, Jim and Gage just kept persisting and pretty soon he had his first leg, then the next and the next until one cool, misty weekend Gage kicked butt and ran 6 out of 8 runs in qualifying times! Have patience with your Leo. It is so much better to work on consistency and safety than speed. Speed will come in time, but speed will never come if your Leo isn't confident in what they are doing.
These days, Gage is running in open and has already earned two qualifying legs. He is consistently running at or below course time, but it has taken us a very long time to get there. Whether he gets a qualifying leg or not, we love running Gage in agility. We always have people comment on how fabulous he looks when he is running, and how far he has come, and how is their favorite dog to watch. He has quite the fan club and we are very proud parents. Jim and Gage continue to be a great team. They have their pre-run ritual of warm up jumps, body wrestling by the ring, and the just-for-good-luck jump up on stand face to face hug. I think it is just about the happiest moment for both of them.
In March 2000, Beth added to Gage's story on the LeoList
I think I have something to say that we can all agree on......Gage is the greatest Leonberger ever! Who could possibly disagree? Especially when I tell you all that this weekend at the Bay Team trial Gage earned his NADAC standard OPEN title!!! This has been a goal of ours for about a year now, and it has taken lots of time, travel and love to get there.
Gage is the first male Leo to have earned an open agility title, and only the second to have done it at all. The occasion was made even more special because our friends Bonnie & Norm and Hendy were also in attendance.
Now, it sounds like I was there right? Well I wasn't...I have taken to getting so nervous watching Gage run, it just about kills me! I don't want him to pick up on my nerves, so I have stayed home so that he could focus on Jim. If my not being there helped Gage in anyway, than it was worth it. We are so proud of him!
Ch. Hause Von Lowens Gage, U-CD, LCA CD, OAC, OGC, NJC, JS-N, GS-N (I just had to write that!)